Finding your dream property to rent

Finding a rental property can be a minefield for potential tenants. It’s a busy market and competition for properties is intense.

But with some forward planning and clear thinking, you can put yourself ahead of the pack when it comes to finding that dream home.

CJ Hole’s guide to finding the perfect rental home can help you get from search to keys in no time.

Get ahead

Portals like Rightmove and Zoopla are great for displaying properties that you want to see – and plenty of them.

However, while you are browsing your results page, so are dozens of other people looking for similar properties in the same area.

Getting ahead of that competition is crucial and signing up to CJ Hole’s property alerts can help. We’ll tip you off about rental properties that are new to the market – and crucially, we’ll tell you before they appear on Rightmove and Zoopla, putting you one step in front of the competition.

Be sensible with your budghet

We all love taking a peek inside glamorous, huge properties with even bigger price tags. And there’s nothing wrong at all with having aspirations and goals.

But in terms of your search for a new rental property, all dreaming is going to do is waste vital time.

Set yourself a top budget before you start your search and don’t be tempted to go over it. When searching on portals like Rightmove and Zoopla, don’t be tempted to slide the maximum price bar up a couple of notches. Be consistent with your searching and leave temptation firmly behind.

Stick to an area

The area you choose to live should reflect what you want and need in your life. If you seek the quiet life of the Cotswolds but also need to be within a 10-minute drive of work in Bristol, something will have to give.

Be prepared to compromise – every property search needs this and yours is no different. Make a list of the things you really desire and choose an area that delivers on as many of these things as possible.

But also be prepared to sacrifice something and decide early on what that something might be.

Make a good first impression

Yes, you are viewing a property to see if it is right for you. However, the landlord is also taking a look at you to see if you are right for them!

With that in mind, make an effort when turning up for a viewing. Be on time. Be polite. And, most importantly, dress appropriately.

First impressions really count and the landlord needs to know you are serious about the property. Ask questions about it and be interested in the answers.

Making a good first impression could set you apart from other people viewing the property and, in a crowded market place, that could be priceless.

Make sure the property is right for you

So, we’ve made it clear that being quick out of the blocks is hugely important in the rental sector. It really is. But taking a moment to step back and think is equally vital. You need to be certain a property is right for you and that can often mean more than one viewing.

Most property hunters look at a home with their heart first time around. If time is not a decisive factor, go back for a second look with your head engaged. Is it big enough? Is it quiet enough?

If you are facing competition for the tenancy, try to visit during the evening of the day you view the property for the first time. It will give you a different feel for the area and reveal any increased noise levels once the neighbours are home from work.

Only request a rent reduction if you're sure

In a high-demand rental market, making a lower offer on the rent could be folly. If it is outside of your budget then refer back to point number two of this guide!

While offers are widely expected in the sales sector, in rentals landlords can be put off by potential tenants who make a cheeky offer on the monthly rent. It will convince them you can’t afford the rent and if you can’t afford it at its asking price, will you really be able to afford it if it’s £50 per month cheaper?

Think carefully before making an offer. It could cost you your dream property.

Understand the tenancy agreement

So many tenants enter their new rental properties without so much as a glance at the finer points of the tenancy agreement.

This is a huge mistake. The agreement outlines everything you are responsible for as the tenant and reading it properly will ensure you don’t get on the wrong side of your new landlord.

It could also reveal that the property you are about to move into is not right for you. If your landlord is strict and you want the freedom to make the property your own, it could be a bad match.

Reading the tenancy agreement is crucial – before you sign it!

Be a good tenant

Once you have moved into your new rental property, ensure you stay in contact with your landlord. Keeping communication open and honest with them is vital to a happy tenancy and will help develop trust between you.

When the time comes to move out, if you have a good relationship with your landlord it can help with things like references and place you in a strong position regarding your deposit.

If you have any questions about renting a property, speak to your local CJ Hole branch who will be happy to help.